The Amazon could turn into savannah

the 28-07-2004

The Amazon rainforest can transform into a savannah zone in 50 to 100 years due to global warming and fires that destroy the forest area in Brazil, warned a Brazilian scientist on Tuesday.

"Almost all of the scenarios point to a" savannahization "(of the Amazon) within 50 to 100 years," said Carlos Nobre, researcher at the National Institute for Space Investigations (INPE), at the Third Conference of the "Large-scale project on the biosphere and the atmosphere of the Amazon" which opened on Tuesday in Brasilia.

“In the worst case, the forest loses some 60% of its surface; in the best, everything continues as it does now; in the case of an intermediate scenario, 20% of its surface disappears, ”he said.

"Even without deforestation, global warming could cause the" savannahization "of 20% to 30%" of the Amazon, reported Nobre.

According to Brazilian official sources, 70 years 2002 end, fires destroyed more than 630.000 2 million km3,68 of km2 account that the Amazon forest in the country (70% of the Amazon forest).

The INPE researcher considers that deforestation, caused by the advance of soybean cultivation and livestock breeding, already has a climatic impact, both locally and in more remote areas, since it causes "a decrease rains and a more significant warming of the climate ”.

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Nobre believes that this process can be reversed through the creation of a large body to coordinate efforts in favor of the Amazon. This implies a reorientation of resources, since currently "only 3% of research revenues go to the Amazon," said Nobre.

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